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Released February 18, 2005


HATTIESBURG – A film series focusing on the history of Russia and the former Soviet Union will be presented at The University of Southern Mississippi throughout the spring 2005 semester.

Many of the films in the series received major awards and acclaim from the international cinema industry and deal with topics ranging from the Russian Revolution to the current conflict between Russia and Chechen separatists. All of the films will be shown on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 101. Admission is free.

The series includes the following titles:

Feb. 24: October (Ten Days That Shook the World) (USSR, 1927; directed by Sergei Eisenstein) A prime example of Eisenstein's utilization of what he called "intellectual montage," the film focuses on Petrograd between the February and October revolutions of 1917. The film was made in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

March 31: Burnt by the Sun (Russia, 1994; directed by Nikita Mikhalkov) This film is the unforgettable story of a Soviet hero whose happy family is suddenly targeted by Stalin's secret police. Winner of the 1994 Cannes Grand Jury Award and the 1995 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, it is an indelible account of a man dedicated to family and fatherland cruelly destroyed by political paranoia.

April 7: Come and See (USSR, 1985; directed by Elem Klimov) A crowning achievement of 1980s Soviet cinema and perhaps the greatest World War II film ever made, Come and See was the winner of the 1985 Moscow International Film Festival's Golden Prize. When young Florya willingly joins a group of partisans fighting the Nazis in the Soviet Republic of Belorussia, he little suspects that he is plunging through the looking glass. Separated from his comrades during a paratroop attack and struck deaf by German artillery, Florya wanders a battle-scorched Russian purgatory of prehistoric forests and manmade slaughter.

April 14: Ballad of a Soldier (USSR, 1959; directed by Grigori Chukhrai) Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov is granted a visit with his mother after he single-handedly fends off two enemy tanks. As he journeys home, Alyosha encounters the devastation of his war-torn country, witnesses glimmers of hope among the people, and falls in love. This film was the winner of 1962 British Academy of Film and Television Award for Best Film.

April 21: East/West (Est/Ouest) (France/Russia, 1999; directed by Régis Wargnier) In June 1946, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin invites Russians who fled the country to return. A talented young doctor, accompanied by his French bride, the beautiful Marie, and their son, optimistically returns to the Soviet Union. Their arrival is a rude one. Interrogations are followed by the grim reality of postwar Soviet Union: shared apartments, suspicious neighbors and lack of privacy. The young wife soon faces a terrifying choice: to leave her husband and child for freedom or stay and confront a grim future.

May 5: Prisoner of the Mountains (Russia/Kazakhstan, 1996; directed by Sergei Bodrov) Two Russian soldiers are taken hostage by Chechen guerillas after a deadly ambush leaves all of their comrades dead. Their captor, a battle-weary village elder, wants to use them as a bartering tool to get back his own son, held prisoner by the Russian army. But when the trade goes sour and all trust is broken, the two soldiers realize their hours are numbered and attempt to escape before they're forced to join their comrades in death.

This film series is being coordinated by Dr. Elizabeth Drummond, assistant professor of history at Southern Miss. For more information, contact Drummond at or call (601) 266-4333.


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April 6, 2005 2:43 PM